Nearly all businesses with an Internet presence are affected by social media. The decision to utilize social media, the online exchange of user-generated content and information through websites, isn’t really a choice. Any successful business will turn to social media as way to increase revenues. Advertisements and traditional marketing campaigns have given way to social media and peer recommendations. It has been noted that if Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest, right behind China and India. If that weren’t enough to emphasize the reach of the social media revolution, YouTube is said to be the second-largest search engine in the world.
Social media's rapid growth has created both benefits and risks for businesses trying to engage the marketplace. Particularly, businesses are likely to encounter issues relating to copyrights and trademarks. In order for a business to protect itself in the social media context, it must fully understand and train its employees so they can comprehend the reach of intellectual property laws and the exceptions.